On Your Side viewer thankful for new eye

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond woman got the artificial eye she desperately needed but couldn't afford.

Iris Reilly-Moore was eager to find work, but she felt no one would hire her with a missing eye. She came to us in tears, looking for help.

Now, she sees herself differently. The prosthetic eye changed Iris's outlook on life. She has nothing but love and thanks for the ocularists who donated their time and skills to improve her life.

Iris's first look in the mirror at her new $3,000 prosthetic eye was simply awesome.

"Oh, wow. My eye ain't look like that in three years," said Iris. "I look like a human again."
Before, she hated her reflection. She intentionally avoided mirrors and cameras. Her eyes would well up with tears when she first turned to 12 On Your Side for help to look normal again so she could go on job interviews.
"The first thing people see is your face," said Iris.

Now she has renewed confidence and accolades for the father and son doctors who helped.

"There are still good people in the world willing to help people, regardless of the cost, and Ms. Walker, she doesn't have to do what she does, and she is one of the best people I have ever known. I thank her from the bottom of my heart," said Iris.

Dr. Michael Hughes belongs to 'Eye Care International' - a group of doctors and non-professionals who provide exams, surgery and prosthetic eyes to victims of violence and poverty in Central America.

Just this year, the non-religious mission fitted nearly 4,000 patients with eye glasses, provided 
50 artificial eyes and 76 surgeries in El Salvador. It was a natural response to help Iris, when I called the business 'Artificial Eye Clinic' for help.

Dr. Neil Hughes made the plastic eye, and made sure it fits.

Iris hugged both doctors and presented them with a spring wreath, symbolic of her deep appreciation. On the way out, Iris took her first 'selfies' with her husband and grand daughter - her first picture in three years.

"Oh Lord yes. Thank you so much," said Iris.

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